How do you make ice without a freezer? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Okay, for you budding chemists, how do you make ice without a freezer? I had read somewhere that this is possible and it blew my mind.

-- Mama (a@a.a), January 18, 1999


Dry ice? Nah, if you can get dry ice, you can get ice. Evaporation of either large quantities of alcohol or amonia (neither one a kitchen effort).

fast evacuation of a sealed chaber to a near vaccuum, not as hard as it sounds.

Robert Cook, there has gotta be a beter way (other than having a pond, a small in ground room, a lot of sawdust and an ice sawing party in the winter).


-- Chuck, night driver (, January 18, 1999.

Once saw a movie with Harrison Ford (?) where he moved to the jungle and created an ice making factory. How? Beats me, unless the movie was total BS, there is a way. Propane?

Robert, any ideas?

-- Uncle Deedah (, January 18, 1999.


buy thermometer get water wait till thermometer reads under 32 degrees F place water in said environment wait until water has become ice chill and serve

-- (, January 18, 1999.

Ummm...what month would that be here in FL?

-- Uncle Deedah (, January 18, 1999.

Its called radiational cooling. During a clear, calm evening (one without clouds or wind) and throughout the night, the solar radiation decreases to nearly zero, but the earth continues to emit infrared radiation; therefore, the earth (ground) begins to cool. Ice can be made at the bottom of a pit even in the desert this way.

-- a (a@a.a), January 18, 1999.

My dad told me many years ago about a system that he had back in the 1930s before refrigeration was available that he called an Icy ball refrigerator. It was a copper tube with a ball on each end and it was filled with some type of freon type gas or possibly a salt water mixture. You heat one end in the fire, the contents expands and compresses the material in the other end. Then when the other end starts to cool, the gas expands and produces cold in that ball. You alternate heating each ball and put the cooling ball into a wooden box. You may be able to find out more from some old timers who had these during the depression. They apparently worked fairly well and were better than hauling blocks of ice which was the alternative. No spam needed. This is a true story.

-- Steve (, January 18, 1999.

Steve is on track.

Refrigerators/air conditioners work by when freon expands it gets cold.

The problem is, unless you have an unlimited supply of compressed freon, you got to compress it yourself in a closed cycle. That's where -- tah dah -- the compressor comes in.

The compressor needs energy to work. Done by an electric motor in house, or off one of those fan belts in your car.

So, if you got a bunch of gerbils to run a cage hooked to a fan belt, you could use a car air conditioner to cool. I don't know if the car type gets cold enough to actually freeze water though.

Oh, you also need a heat exchanger to transfer the "cold" from the expanded freon to the stuff you're trying to cool -- air in your car, or the freezer box walls in your refrigerator.

Simple theory, a little difficult in execution.

This might be a good Y2K+ occupation for mechanics and handymen to use pre Y2K salvage to do other stuff after Y2K.

-- dhd (, January 19, 1999.

Uncle Deedah, I think the movie was "Mosquito Coast." I didn't see it, but I read the book. It was great. I keep reading that jello is a storage item in all food storage, and I thought you had to have fridge to make jello?????? Anyway, read the book. It's great.

-- gilda jessie (, January 19, 1999.

Shoot..this one's easy.

Stick some water outside anytime of day or night between late October and mid-March and it freezes. It also works only at night from mid- September to mid-April.

-- Craig (, January 19, 1999.


Thank you, you are correct, and read it I will. Was there any insight into our question included in the book?


You have been the victim of a pre-emptive smart ass, see the above post by A@BC

-- Uncle Deedah (, January 19, 1999.

Steve, System you described used ammonia as its transfer agent. Make a sealed loop with ball at the bottom and radiator at the top. heat the ball, NH3 vaporizes and moves into radiator as the NH3 condenses it cools. This is a very basic refrigeration technique. Only drawback is that ammonia is poisonous if inhaled.

-- RD. ->H (, January 19, 1999.

I guess none of you have heard of a solar ice maker. No, I haven't been out in the sun to long. Using only the heat of the sun, an Isaac Ice Maker will produce 10 to 1000 Lbs of ice per day depending on availability of sun. This is a technology that was discovered in the 1850s, and is still used on a smaller scale by all gas refrigerators. The Isaac uses no gas, electricity, or freon.

During the day this machine stores energy in the receiving tank as high-pressure, distilled, pure ammonia. At night the user checks the sight glass to decide how much ammonia was produced, adds an appropriate amount of water to the ice compartment, and switches the valves from day to night. The ammonia is allowed to evaporate back into the collector while providing refrigeration for the ice compartment. In the morning you take out the ice and switch the valves and the process starts all over again.

Want one? Call 1-800-762-7325 and order you one from Real Goods.


-- flierdude (, January 19, 1999.

flier: We have a large office complex cooled this way. System makes ice balls at night, uses it for AC in the day. Cool.

How much is the one from Real Goods?

-- a (a@a.a), January 19, 1999.

I knew it had to be an amonia system, as that is what the kerosene refrigerators use. Thanks Flierdude, just include the price and or a link to Real Goods and we'll most all be at least placated (as none of us will be happy....)


-- Chuck, night driver (, January 19, 1999.


Good post. Now all we need is a source how to make ammonia. (maybe billions of rug-rats with wet diapers have some use after all).

-- dhd (, January 20, 1999.

Steve , Just be like your President & dont Inhale :o)

-- Mike (, January 20, 1999.

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